At this year’s National Hardware Show, Kreg introduced the Accu-Cut, an accessory that allows you to turn nearly any standard circular saw into a cross-cutting track saw.
The Kreg Accu-Cut consists of a universal sled, a pair of 26-1/2″ aluminum guide tracks, and a starting block that extends the length of the rails and prevent cords from snagging. The guide tracks have anti-splinter strips and can be connected end-to-end for cross cuts and angle cuts up to 48” long.
The sled attaches to the base of the saw with couple of set screws, and I’m told it is the same base that comes with the Kreg Rip-Cut accessory we covered a few years back.
However, you can tell that a couple of pieces were added—an indicator to show how to position the sled on the rail for left- and right-blade saws, and an indexing stop that butts to the edge of the saw’s shoe. The stop is adjusted during the initial alignment and ensures that the saw is placed at the same location every time it’s installed on the sled.
The extruded aluminum rails are similar to those used with plunge-cutting track saws, with raised areas that mate with the sled and anti-splinter strips along either edge of the bottom.
The first time you use the Accu-Cut, the saw blade will cut through the anti-splinter strip, trimming it to size. The anti-splitter strip helps to prevent splintering by pressing against the material at the edge of the cut. Once trimmed, the strip can be aligned with the cutline on the material, and you know that’s where the blade will go.
The bottoms of the strips are grippy enough to prevent the track from sliding on most materials, though when cutting slippery stuff like melamine it’s best to secure the track with optional clamps. If or when the strips wear out, they can be purchased from Kreg as replacement parts.
The Accu-Cut Circular Saw Guide (KMA2700) is scheduled for release in early July 2017 and will come with a universal saw sled, two 26.5” aluminum guide tracks, a starting block, two track connectors, and a track indicator clip.
If you can’t afford the $400-650 it costs to get a name-brand plunge saw with guide rails, then $80 for the Accu-Cut is a very good deal. All you need is a circular saw to use it with. The adjustable indexing stop makes it possible to remove the saw, use it without the guide and then quickly reattach it to the sled; the alignment is automatic.
If there’s a downside to Kreg’s system, it’s the limited length of the assembled rail, which is too short for ripping 8′ sheet goods. I asked a Kreg representative about this and he said that for now you would need to use their Rip-Cut edge guide (KMA2675).
They considered offering longer rails, but it would complicate shipping and in-store displays. Kreg has put more than two rails together and it worked for them in testing. If it seems like it will work for customers they may offer rails and joining pieces for separate purchase, but no decision has been made yet.
It would be great if the option existed to make straight accurate cuts by joining three, four, or more rails, because it would make for a more portable setup. I would rather do this than use a rip guide, because rip guides can hang up on the edge of your work material, and they only work if one edge is already straight. On the other hand, rip guides can make it easier for repeated cuts, as you only need to set the fence once.
Assuming it won’t be possible to get longer Accu-Cut rails or join more than two of them together, then the next best thing would be to align a saw on the sled and switch back and forth between guide rails and the fence from a Rip-Cut. I’m told this will work because the sleds are the same; you’d simply have to adjust the cursor on the rip guide. It’s a reasonable solution in that it allows you to rip and cross-cut with a single saw and sled.